The American Sociological Association says they “will do something like submit briefs” on the Regnerus study and issues surrounding it “to the relevant courts,” adding “This is a big deal, which happens rarely.”
Mark Regnerus is the University of Texas at Austin researcher who took $785,000 of National Organization for Marriage-linked money and then produced an invalid sociological study demonizing gay parents.
The demonizing study appears to have been commissioned on a political deadline for pernicious anti-gay-rights exploitation during the 2012 elections.
Eight major professional associations including the American Medical Association filed a brief in the Golinski-DOMA case analyzing the Regnerus “study” as scientifically invalid.
Yet, those concerned about the way the anti-gay study undermines the trust on which science is based have been concerned that until now, the American Sociological Association (ASA) had not taken action against Regnerus and his study.
There is precedent for the ASA taking action when one of its members distorts the scientific record to demonize a minority. For example:
“In 1985, the American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a resolution which asserted that ‘Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism’ and noted that ‘Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.’ The resolution formally charged an ASA committee with the task of ‘critically evaluating and publicly responding to the work of Dr. Paul Cameron.’ At its August, 1986 meeting, the ASA officially accepted the committee’s report and passed the following resolution: ‘The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research’.”
Regnerus has been guilty of using his invalid “findings” to incite the public to misunderstandings about, and discrimination against gay parents. For example, writing in Slate, Regnerus said that his study:
“…may suggest that the household instability that the NFSS reveals is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and still—according to the data, at least—the safest place for a kid.”
There are concerns that when NOM-linked leaders of the Witherspoon Institute gave Regnerus a $55,000 “planning grant,” Regnerus and those NOM-linked Witherspoon officials colluded on the Regnerus’s booby-trapped study design before Regnerus obtained his full $785,000 in study funding. Journalists have been thwarted in their efforts to evaluate the parties’ relationships, as the parties are refusing to cooperate with Freedom of Information Act Requests made for communications related to the study.
According to Philip N. Cohen, Council Member of the ASA’s Family Section:
“It now appears, I am glad to say, that the ASA will do something like submit briefs on this issue to the relevant courts (not just about this article but about the issue more broadly). This is a big deal, which happens rarely — and the suspicion is that it might become relevant in what history will judge as a landmark Supreme Court decision about civil rights.”
Earlier, Cohen had reported that the ASA was considering promulgating documents that would clarify “that the Regnerus study does not support the conclusions offered.” (Bolding added).
New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.